Before the 2017 season, Jim McElwain was considered to be one of the top coaches in the SEC. He had led the University of Florida to the SEC Championship in his first two seasons which is something no other coach has done. Fast forward to the present, McElwain is no longer the Gators head coach after a 3-4 start to the season, offensive struggles and ongoing issues with people in the program. Defensive coordinator Randy Shannon was named the interim head coach but Florida will likely hire a new head coach from outside the program. A lot of big names have been mentioned but some are unrealistic. Florida’s Athletic Director Scott Stricklin has a big decision to make and here are five coaches and could be the new head coach for the Florida Gators.
Florida Coaching Job
Scott Frost (UCF)
The University of Central Florida head coach, Scott Frost, is one of the hottest names in college football. He has come into Orlando and turned a 0-12 program into a 7-0 team ranked 18th in the country. One of the reasons UCF is having so much success is because the Knights have one of the top ranked offenses in the country. They are the #1 team in the country in points per game (51) and they are #5 in the country in yards per game (530). Landing Frost would bring a lot of excitement to the program. He runs a high power offense and has experience working under Chip Kelly at Oregon. Florida will compete with Nebraska, Frost’s alma mater, for his signature as the Cornhuskers might be looking for a new head coach soon.
Dan Mullen (Mississippi State)
If the Gators don’t want to hire an up-and-coming head coach, Dan Mullen could be answer for the Gators. Dan Mullen has been the head coach for the Mississippi State Bulldogs for the past nine years. In his time at Mississippi State, Mullen has made a huge impact on the Bulldogs. He has a 67-44 record at Mississippi State. The Bulldogs rank 34th in the country in points per game (33.9) and 45th in the country in yards per game (433). Mullen would be a great hire for the Gators as he has coached in the SEC for over a decade. He is familiar with the high standards at Florida. Mullen was Florida’s offensive coordinator from 2005-2008 under Urban Meyer. Mullen also has a proven track record of developing great quarterbacks like Alex Smith, Tim Tebow, and Dak Prescott.
Willie Taggart (Oregon)
Another name that has been mentioned a few times is Willie Taggart, the head coach at Oregon. Taggart is in his first year at Oregon but does have head coaching experience at Western Kentucky and USF. At Western Kentucky, he finished with a 16-20 record in three seasons. He finished 7-5 in each of the last two season at Western Kentucky. At USF, Taggart finished with a 24-25 record but made the Bulls into one of top teams in the country. In his final year at South Florida, they finished 10-2 and co-AAC East Championships. At Oregon, Taggart currently has a 5-4 record but the offense has improved since his arrival. Oregon is ranked 27th in the country in points per game (35.6) and 36th in yards per game (445).
Matt Campbell (Iowa State)
Another name that has been mentioned in regards to schools that are looking for a new coach is Matt Campbell. The Iowa State head coach has done a great job with the Cyclones this season. Campbell has turned an unsuccessful D1 football program into a top 15 nationally ranked team. Iowa State pulled off some incredible wins as they have knocked off two top five teams in TCU and Oklahoma. Before he was at Iowa State, Campbell made a big impact at Toledo as their head coach four years. As the Toledo head coach, Campbell had a 35-15 record including two nine win seasons in 2014 and 2015. The Iowa State offense isn’t has explosive as the coaches on the list but he is very smart and young coach that brings a lot of energy out of his players.
Mike Norvell (Memphis)
Mike Norvell is a name Florida fans might remember because of the Gators looking at him for the head coaching that was eventually taken by McElwain. Norvell has been the head coach at Memphis for the past two seasons. In his two season at Memphis, Norvell has a 15-6 record. The Memphis Tigers are currently ranked 23rd in the country according to the College Football Playoff Rankings. The main reason Memphis is a top 25 team is because of their offense. The Memphis Tigers are 8th in the country in points per game (42.5) and 11th in yards per game (500). Norvell is one of the leading candidates for the Florida coaching job. The Tennessee Volunteers are also looking at Norvell as a potential candidate to replace Butch Jones.